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Damsel is a film in distress

Millie Bobby Brown's career continues evolving with her latest film, "Damsel," further solidifying her relationship with Netflix. Directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, the film is based on Evelyn Skye's novel of the same name, with a screenplay adaptation by Dan Mazeau.

Elodie (Brown), in her humble existence within the starvation-afflicted territory of Inophe, never envisioned a life comprising grandeur and princely amour. Raised under the parenthood of Lord Bayford (Ray Winestone), his consort Lady Bayford (Angela Basset), and accompanied by her younger sibling Flora (Brooke Carter), Elodie held a profound aspiration: securing sustenance for her people during harsh winters.

Given this context, an opportunity arrives through an emissary from a prosperous yet secluded empire who proposes to bestow substantial wealth onto Elodie's family to liberate Inophe from impoverishment - demanding in return that she consents to marry into their kingdom. Without a moment's reservation, she avails herself of the benefaction. Subsequently translocated to the resplendent realm of Aurea, presided over by Queen Isabelle (Robin Wright), Elodie swiftly became bedazzled by not only its natural allure but was also spellbound by her impending consort, Prince Henry (Nick Robinson).

As Elodie embarks on her journey to become an Aurean princess, her stepmother's apprehension increases. It soon becomes evident that the facade of the kingdom's idyllic setting is marred with cracks: Elodie uncovers a disconcerting veracity regarding Aurea's wealth—its procurement through means that are beyond reprehensible. The kingdom sends forth its princesses as sacrifices to a voracious dragon each harvest season - Elodie being the looming sacrifice.

"Damsel" is one of those films that looked good on paper to adapt, but something was lost in the translation to film. The idea is great, and it feels like the source material writer wanted to do something akin to "Alien" set in Medieval Times. Nothing stood out about the action sequences; the dragon in the film is mediocre, and even with a short run time, I checked my watch numerous times.

In addition the film reeks of the standard issue observed in other adaptations of young adults. Millie Bobby Brown, who gained recognition for her performance in "Stranger Things," brings life to the character of Elodie despite the character's underdeveloped nature, which remains stagnant throughout the narrative. Elodie's character is reminiscent of a typical young adult protagonist with exceptional abilities and talents. However, Brown's performance lacked dynamism and failed to contribute significantly to the plot's progression.

To add salt to a wound, sadly, this script falls short in providing dimension and depth even for secondary characters who deliver routine performances tantamount to paycheck acting at its most mediocre. Angela Bassett is seemingly just going through the motions, while Robin Wright delivers a disappointingly monotonous performance.

Despite the likelihood of attracting a substantial following from the cast's fans, I find myself disenchanted.

Final Grade: C

"Damsel" is available to stream tomorrow at 


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